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Enlargement of liver beyond its normal size; also known as enlarged liver and liver enlargement.
Persons most commonly affected: Adults of both sexes.
Organ or part of body involved: Liver
Symptoms and indications: The lower edge of the liver normally comes just to the lower edge of the ribs (costal margin) on the right side. In its normal state the edge of the liver is thin and firm, and it cannot be palpated (felt with the finger tips) below the edge of the costal margin. If the liver becomes enlarged enough that it can be palpated below the costal margin, the patient is said to have hepatomegaly
Causes and risk factors: The liver is involved in a multitude of bodily functions and is affected by a variety of conditions, many of which result in hepatomegaly. General classes of causes include infection (viral and bacterial), parasites, malignancy (tumors), anemias, alcoholism, storage diseases, heart failure, congenital heart disease, and metabolic disturbances.
Prevention: Avoid alcohol altogether.